April 2, 2014 7:49 am

Tulips bloom in Kashmir

Historically Kashmir valley is related to gardening practices. There has always been a good scope for the floriculture industry in Kashmir.  Be it the era of kings like those of Mughals, who are presently known in Kashmir for beautiful gardens.

Flowers are masterpieces of nature, attracting the people not only by fragrance and sight but also by emotion. At present flowers have developed a high commercial value and they are in demand all around the world.

Kashmir Valley with its ideal climatic conditions and soil fertility has a tremendous potential for floriculture, due to which the Floriculture Department has been able to make one of the biggest Tulip Garden of Asia in Srinagar.

Siraj Bagh, officially known as Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden on the banks of world famous Dal Lake, houses more than sixty varieties of tulips, all imported from Holland. This Tulip garden was opened in 2008. The main purpose for the establishment of the Tulip Garden was to prepone the tourists season in the valley. Spread over 20 hectares of land. Further expansion is expected this year, as more area under the Zabarwan mountain is being utilized for expanding the Tulip garden.  This will not only boost tourism but will also help employ local youth who have acquired degrees in the concerned fields of agriculture and floriculture.

Experts say, “The soil fertility is best for the growth of flowers, but it needs serious efforts from authorities to give floriculture a boom. There are a number of wet and marshy lands which are suitable for its growth”. Experts are also of the opinion that there is enormous scope to utilize the vast portion of the marshy land such as surroundings of Aanchar Lake to make possible the cultivation of many varieties of seasonal flowers.

The work needs to be done in as scientific manner and management of soil preparation, sowing and harvesting should be intended to propagate floriculture as an important economic activity and hence thrust needs to be put on its commercial exploitation. If explored fully, by giving rise to various flower farms and gardens it can boost in empowerment by engaging vast human resource.

Proper budget allocations should be made to promote and develop floriculture sector and modern facilities should be provided on a single platform to market flowers.

The Department of floriculture, Kashmir, should also take steps to save the Tulips from rain which is common during April, to reduce damage, as the Tulips are very sensitive.

The Tulip garden at present is all set to attract tourists after being given a massive facelift. Straight beds have been raised this year, with some new varieties of Tulips, including a vast range of same coloured as well as bi coloured and multicoloured Tulips.

While the Tulip garden awaits full expansion, nearly three lac bulbs of tulips have been imported this year. Tourists from all over the world get attracted to the charming beauty of the Garden. Even after returning from the valley, the mesmerizing beauty of the Tulip Garden remains fresh in their minds. 

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